Safety

The National Park Service asks visitors to adhere to the following guidelines to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day. Please bring plenty of water for hydration, dress in weather-appropriate attire, and use sunscreen.

The NPS is partnering with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, D.C. Fire & Emergency Medical Services, and Arlington County Fire Department, as well as over 100 emergency medical service volunteers to provide medical services on the National Mall and along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Medical Aid Stations will be clearly identified by red banners with a blue star of life on it.

Precautions against the heat

Summer temperatures in the nation's capital can climb well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but with the humidity, it can feel close to or more than 100 degrees. Sunburn, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke can result from excessive heat exposure. Senior citizens and those suffering from chronic medical conditions may be more susceptible.

Take the following precautions to protect yourself against the heat:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Bring a water bottle and drink water throughout the day even when you are not thirsty
  • Minimize consumption of beverages containing caffeine or alcohol
  • Eat a healthy breakfast and normal meals throughout the day

  • Take frequent shade breaks to cool off

  • Periodically get out of the heat and into air conditioning, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  • Avoid overexertion

  • Reduce exertion during the hottest hours

  • Loosen clothing and cool off outside before entering an air-conditioned space

  • Bring extra medication.

If you are taking any prescribed medication for illness or medical conditions, be sure to bring extra doses just in case and have the medication information easily available in case medical providers need to know when treating in an emergency.

If you or someone you know exhibits the following signs and symptoms, go to a Medical Aid Station or summon help as soon as possible.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Profuse sweating

  • Nausea, headache, dizziness

  • Weakness, exhaustion

  • Cool, pale, flushed or ashen skin

  • Increased body temperature

The symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Red, hot skin

  • Change in level of consciousness (may become unresponsive)

  • Rapid or shallow breathing

  • Rapid, weak pulse

  • Body temperature of 104 degrees F or above

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition. Cool victims rapidly with splashed water and fanning. Summon help immediately.

Fireworks

Please follow these precautions if you are located near the launch site (West Potomac Park) during the fireworks display:

  • Consider wearing eye protection and hearing protection

  • Do not attempt to enter the fenced safety zones around the launch site

  • Following the fireworks, do not walk along Independence Avenue, SW between Daniel Chester French Drive, SW and 17th Street, SW until safety teams clear the area of potentially harmful fireworks debris

Children

The Independence Day Celebration is a great time for children. But there will be large crowds and children do sometimes wander off. Here are some things to do to help:

  • Take a picture of your child in the clothes that they are wearing the day of the event and carry it with you (cell phones are great for this).

  • Put a laminated card with your name and cell phone number in your child's pocket.

  • Check out the Lost and Found page to see where lost children will be taken if/when found.

Last updated: July 4, 2019

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